General information on phrases (or USLs)

All IEML USL (Uniform Semantic Locators) are built from the elements (or morphemes) of the language.

Phrases are USLs more complex than elements. They are constructed from elements using sentence structure and/or junction structure. Phrase roles are occupied by words, i.e. elements or sub-sentences with inflections. The inflected word can be either an element or a sentence (the sentence is recursive).

A junction phrase is a sequence of sentences or elements, and a sentence phrase is an organisation of elements, junctions or sub-sentences.

The sentence phrase

General schema of the sentence

A sentence phrase has nine roles: a root and eight distinct leaf roles. The leaf roles may be empty or may contain only role auxiliaries and no category operand. One of the nine roles has a semantic accent represented by an exclamation mark. The sentence phrase is recursive: the eight leaf roles may contain any category-operand, except for the root, which cannot contain a junction phrase.

In terms of building a network of relationships:

  • Each of the eight roles can be compared to a master branch, the role auxiliaries to small branches that subdivide a master branch, and the operand subcategories to leaves.
  • The meaning of a role can be clarified by an auxiliary chosen from the paradigms of auxiliaries specialized in that role.
  • The same role can give way to as many semantic branches as there are distinct auxiliaries.
  • A role + auxiliary branching can lead to a leaf (an operand subcategory) or to a palm whose leaves are linked by a junction.
  • The root-leaf relations of the same sentence make a whole.

Details of the nine roles and their specialized auxiliaries

Table 1
  • The root is the governing role of the phrase. There are verbal, nominal, adjectival or adverbial phrases depending on the grammatical class of its root. Therefore, the root of a sentence can be:
    • a verb word, signifying a process, a state or an existence,
    • a noun word, meaning an actant, entity, substance or essence,
    • an adjective word, meaning the quality of an actant,
    • an adverb word, meaning the quality of a process,

The root must include an element specifying one of the four grammatical classes of E:O:.O:.

When the root is not a verb, the leaf roles are distributed by interpreting the nouns, adjectives or adverbs placed in the root as processes reified into actants or qualities.
The root has no role auxiliary.

  • The initiator is the subject of a process. It answers the question « who ». It can also define the starting point, the initial conditions, the first motor or the first cause of the concept evoked by the phrase.
    The initiator does not have any role auxiliary..
  • The inter-actant corresponds to the object of classical grammar. It answers the question « what ». It also plays the role of medium in the relationship between the initiator and the recipient.
    The inter-actant does not have any role auxiliary.
  • The recipient is the beneficiary (or victim) of a process. It answers the questions « for whom, to whom, against whom ».
    The recipient does not have any role auxiliary.
  • The cause (broadly defined) answers the question « why? It specifies the logical, material and formal determinations. It describes the actors that have not been specified by the initiator, the inter-actant or the recipient: media, instruments, effects, consequences. It may also specify methods, rules, laws, reasons, points of view, conditions and contracts.
    A root-cause relationship is specified by an auxiliary of the following paradigm.
  • Time answers the question « when? ». It indicates the moment in the past, present, or future and gives clues as to anteriority, posteriority, duration, date, frequency.
    A root-time relationship is specified by an auxiliary chosen among the following paradigms:
  • Place answers the question « where? ». It indicates location, spatial distribution, the pace of movement, paths, roads, spatial relationships and metaphors. A root-place relationship is specified by an auxiliary chosen among the following paradigms:
    1. E:T:M:. nowhere, everywhere, somewhere
    2. E:.-O:.M:M:.-l.-‘ Places and movements according to an axial orientation (vertical/horizontal).
    3. E:.-M:.M:M:.-l.-‘ places and movements according to a path orientation.
  • Intention answers the question of purpose, goal, motivation: « for what », « to what end? ». It concerns mental orientation, direction of action, pragmatic context, emotion or feeling. It also specifies the practical relations between the root category and the categories in intention. A root-intention relationship is specified by an auxiliary chosen from the two following paradigms:
  • Manner answers the questions « how?  »and « how much? ». It situates the root on a range of qualities or on a scale of values. It specifies quantities, gradients, measurements and sizes. It also indicates properties, genres and styles. A root-manner relationship is specified by an auxiliary chosen from the following paradigms:

The junction phrase

Conditions for the creation of junction relationships

Junctions weave relationships between sentences or elements.

A junction relationship between junctions cannot be created. Junction is not recursive.

The junction can take place

  • either within a sentence when its operands depend on the same role and the same role auxiliary
  • or between two or more sentences that would be independent if they were not linked by a junction. 

The different types of junction relationships

Junctions may have different mathematical properties. 

  • an order relationship (asymmetrical and transitive), like most junctions
  • an equivalence relationship (symmetrical and transitive), as « equivalent to »
  • a symmetrical and non-transitive relationship such as similar to, different from…
  • a logical connection: AND, inclusive OR, exclusive OR

In short, junction operators organize order relations, except for the logical connectors E:M:.-k.u.-‘ and the formal comparisons E:.-S:M:.a.-k.u.-‘ (equivalent to, similar to, different from) which are commutative and organize bi-directional relationships. 

Logical connectors and formal comparisons unite categories into sets while other junctions unite categories into sequences.

Junction Paradigms

The following is a list of junction paradigms:

Words and their inflections

Depending on its verbal (verb and adverb) or nominal (noun and adjective) class, a category, when included in a junction or sentence, can be modified by one or more inflections and thus becomes a word.

Inflections of verbal sub-categories

  • E:O:O:. affirmation, negation, citation, interrogation
  • E:M:O:. probability, condition, authority, experience
  • E:.b.O:O:.- to be, to become, to cause to be, to feel, to appear
  • E:.b.O:M:.- to know, to want, to be able, to let know, to commit, to do / to leave
  • E:.-O:O:.-t.o.-‘ voice: active, passive, reflexive, reciprocal
  • E:F:.-t.o.-‘ aspect: finished, usual, beginning, middle, end
  • E:.-‘O:O:.-M:.-‘t.o.-‘, verbal modes: indicative, imperative, optative, deontic, subjunctive, infinitive, gerund, participle, etc.

Inflections of nominal sub-categories

Example of a sentence including junctions

root / noun !singularbirth
initiatorhuman being
timeat the datedate
placeatwhole -> partcountry
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